In New Ad, Atheist Ron Reagan Still Says He’s “Not Afraid of Burning in Hell” September 2, 2021

In New Ad, Atheist Ron Reagan Still Says He’s “Not Afraid of Burning in Hell”

For several years now, the Freedom From Religion Foundation has gotten a lot of mileage from a promotional ad filmed in 2014. The 30-second spot features Ron Reagan, son of the former president, saying he’s a “lifelong atheist, not afraid of burning in hell.”

That ad has received attention whenever it’s aired on TV. It got headlines when it appeared during the finale of the Cosmos reboot. It got attention in 2019 when it was rejected by ABC during a Democratic presidential debate, only to become a major source of conversation weeks later when CNN ran it during their own debate. Evangelist bigot Franklin Graham has whined about it, as have plenty of other conservatives who’ve seen it on cable news.

So it’s no surprise that FFRF has created an updated version of the ad (with better quality) that will begin rolling out next week.

Hi, I’m Ron Reagan, an unabashed atheist, and I’m alarmed, as you may be, by the intrusions of religion into our secular government. That’s why I’m asking you to join the Freedom From Religion Foundation, the nation’s largest and most effective association of atheists and agnostics, working to keep state and church separate — just like our Founders intended.

Please join the Freedom From Religion Foundation today.

Ron Reagan, lifelong atheist, not afraid of burning in hell.

There’s also a slightly longer version (that won’t air on TV) that offers a little more reflection on the time since he recorded the first ad:

“Hi, I’m Ron Reagan, an unabashed atheist”… When I first recorded that commercial back in 2014, being openly atheist in America was still fairly uncommon. Today, the fastest growing religious group in the country is the non-religious — especially among the young. That progress is heartening. But the religious pushback is fierce and the forces of Christian Nationalism are well-organized. Our progress won’t continue unless we work together so that reason and our secular Constitution will prevail.

Ron Reagan, lifelong atheist, not afraid of burning in hell.

FFRF’s leaders said in a statement they’re excited about this ad being seen by a larger audience:

“We are so grateful to Ron for continuing to lend his celebrity to the Freedom From Religion Foundation,” says Annie Laurie Gaylor, FFRF co-president. “Everywhere we go, including in Congress, the public now recognizes FFRF, thanks to Ron, and realizes there are many atheists and freethinkers in America, including the son of a conservative president.”

The 30-second spot is scheduled to run multiple times, beginning Tuesday, during MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show. Then, starting September 20, it’ll appear on CBS’ The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. This will be the first time CBS has approved the ad.

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